John Randle, Welcome to Canton!
For the second straight year, a great Minnesota Viking will be inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame in Canton, OH.John Randle will join his teammate, Randall McDaniel, in just his second year of eligibility. He was one of the best defensive lineman of his time as evidenced by his impressive 137.5 career sacks, which are the most for a defensive tackle in NFL history and the sixth most by any player. He was named to seven Pro Bowl teams and named first team All-Pro six times. Randle went undrafted out of Texas A&I University–Kingsville and played with a chip on his shoulder his entire career. He was always considered undersized for a defensive tackle but his incredible quickness and love for the game was the main reason he was so hard to block. I think Randle’s teammate Cris Carter wasn’t inducted this year because the HOF committee did not want another receiver inducted alongside Jerry Rice.Vikings fans should be happy because Carter will make it in next year which will make it three Vikings inducted in three consecutive years. Not too shabby for those “Purple People Eaters”.John Randle joined KFAN in Minneapolis to talk about when he found out he was going to get inducted into the Hall of Fame and the story about how he scrambled to get down to Miami for the HOF ceremony.
On him being at his home in Medina when he found out he became a member of the NFL Hall of Fame:
“Yes I was… I was heading to Texas to see my brother and my wife was in the other room and I started hearing screaming and I said either that is something good or that is something bad.”
How he found out that went into the Hall of Fame:
“She was watching it and I was in the other room just watching the Golf Channel for some odd reason and she came in screaming and my phone – the next thing I know all these different people texting me that I made it down to the list of seven and they couldn’t call me. So I found out from her first so that is one of the most odd things about it.”
Whether his wife was screaming because he made it into the Hall of Fame:
“I had made it and it was such a bizarre thing because I told her and I said that it is about to happen and it was like the draft day where I didn’t get drafted and I didn’t get that phone call. I was sitting around thinking that it was probably going to be like it was on draft day when I didn’t get the phone call and actually I didn’t get a phone call. I found out from her.”
On having a bust of himself in the Hall of Fame:
“It is so shocking I mean I can remember myself looking back on my first day as a Viking which was my first interview that I was supposed to be there for only two weeks like in training camp. I found myself now here in Miami getting ready to talk about the Hall of Fame and it is just unbelievable. I mean you couldn’t write a script like this. A guy from Munson, Texas of 150 people and no stop lights you couldn’t have told me this if I was eight, nine, ten even fifteen years old that I was going to be in Canton. I would have said hell no, now way. I couldn’t believe it.”
The story how he scrambled on got on a flight to Miami:
“My wife and my two kids and her sister, Hillary, so there was five of us.
They had given us two options:
you could take a flight out of Minneapolis at 7PM or you could take one at about . I got my kids so I am not going to take aflight so I will take the 7PM and if it doesn’t work out, whatever. So we make it and the next thing we know we have got like an hour window to get everybody dressed, packed and in the car… The video games, clothing and stuff and so we get on the plane and my wife and kids are all sitting together and I am the odd man out so I am sitting up in the seat by myself right next to the guy who doesn’t know me from Adam. I was sitting there looking at him with a big smile on my face and the whole time he is falling asleep and waking up and I was still sitting there smiling and shaking my head looking out the window looking back at him and I know he was probably like, who is this guy and why in the hell is he smiling so much. I was pumped. I kept raising my hands up in the air and he was just looking at me…”
Whether he told the man sitting next to him why he was so happy:
“No, I never did because I was still trying to soak it all in because it was first the airport, to get to the airport and just feel tied in. I think it is still unbelievable. I didn’t play the game thinking that one day that I could be in the Hall of Fame. I was playing it because I love playing football. I got excited and had fun on the field. I never thought that this was possible.